The Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program
Administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, this program offers loans to units of local government or K-12 schools seeking to initiate energy audits or renewable energy feasibility studies primarily through its Local Energy Efficiency Program (LEEP) or Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP).
Public Entity Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Loan Program Application (.pdf)
Upon completion of the application, submit to Commerce for review and approval.
Loan security requirements
A loan agreement between the public entity and the Minnesota Department of Commerce shall serve as the loan security.
Terms and conditions
- Commerce will encumber funds on behalf of public entities seeking to complete an energy audit and/or a renewable energy system feasibility study.
- Encumbered funds will be retained by Commerce in a program account until the energy audit or feasibility study report has been presented and accepted by the public entity.
- The maximum term of repayment is three (3) years from the date the funds are released to the loan recipient, with an annual interest rate of 2%.
How and when are program funds released?
- Funds encumbered by Commerce will be retained in a RLF program account, assigned to the award recipient, until the energy audit or feasibility study report has been presented and accepted by the public entity.
- Once an energy audit or feasibility study report has been presented and accepted by the awarded recipient, the encumbered funds will be released in the following manner:
Project(s) Proceeding to Construction
- Public entity agrees to pay the service provider for the cost of the completed energy audit or feasibility study with proceeds from the project financing agreement (third-party financed).
- Commerce and the public entity agree to terminate the loan agreement.
- Commerce agrees to unencumber the funds associated with the terminated loan agreement and will revolve the funds back into the program RLF.
Projects Not Proceeding to Construction
Commerce will release the funds to the public entity only in instances when the public entity selects to not proceed with the energy efficiency project or renewable energy projects, after the energy audit or feasibility study has been submitted to the public entity
Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy Project(s) that DO NOT Proceed to Construction
- Commerce and the public entity agree to amend the loan agreement to establish a loan repayment plan, to be repaid within a 3-year term.
- Commerce will release the encumbered funds to the public entity to be used to pay the service provider for the cost of the energy audit report.
- The public entity agrees to repay Commerce the amount loaned, plus annual interest payments equaling 2%.
Energy audit or feasibility study report ownership
The loan award recipient will own the report. However, Commerce will be given a copy of the final report and any requested work products, as well as full access to the study and any analysis performed to complete the study. Work products that are created using the RLF funds are subject to public information laws. Provisions may be included to protect intellectual property rights on a case-by-case basis.
Energy Efficiency Project – is a project identified through execution of an energy audit performed by a qualified professional with specialized skills who analyzes building systems to quantify energy consumption, energy costs, energy savings opportunities, and carbon emission reductions that are associated with discreet energy conservation measures and proposed in an energy efficiency energy audit report.
Energy Audit – is an inspection, survey and analysis, performed by a qualified professional, used to quantify the costs, energy savings potential, financial incentives, return on investments, and carbon emissions reductions associated with a proposed energy efficiency project.
Renewable Energy Project – is a project identified through the execution of a feasibility study performed by a qualified professional with specialized skills required to analyze and quantify energy consumption, energy costs, and energy production potential associated with a discreet renewable energy system (PV solar, solar thermal, wind energy) proposed in a renewable energy feasibility study report.
Feasibility Study – is an inspection, survey and analysis, performed by a qualified professional, used to quantify the costs, energy production potential, financial incentives, return on investments, and carbon emission reductions associated with a proposed renewable energy.